July 9th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain takes on abortion issue in Ohio

McCain does not stress the abortion issue on the trail.
McCain does not stress the abortion issue on the trail.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (CNN) – John McCain broached his pet topic of pork barrel spending about five separate times during his Ohio town hall Wednesday, but the GOP nominee-in-waiting didn’t get a standing ovation during question time until he mentioned an issue he typically avoids - abortion.

A female voter asked the senator about the country’s divorce rate, which offered McCain a chance to praise “the two parent family organization that shares our values” as “the strongest unit in America.”

But McCain also saw an opening to discuss the abortion issue, a matter that traditionally hasn’t animated him on the stump.

After praising President Bush’s efforts to expand faith-based programs, McCain pivoted: “I also think that we should do everything that we can, and one of those in my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”

Here, the audience leapt to their feet, eagerly applauding McCain. It’s the second time in two weeks the senator has been roundly applauded while discussing abortion in Ohio.

At a fundraiser in suburban Cincinnati on June 26, several hundred donors gave McCain only polite applause throughout his remarks. But when McCain mentioned his support for “the sanctity of human life,” the small audience roared with approval.

At the town hall Wednesday, he also drew a distinction between himself and Barack Obama on abortion, calling it “a big difference” between them.

McCain said that while in the Illinois state legislature, Obama “voted against a ban on partial birth abortion, one of the most odious things that I have ever heard of.”

He concluded his answer by calling for more adoptions.

“I want us to understand that every life is precious, and that there is family in America for every child,” he said.


Filed under: John McCain • Ohio
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Robert in Seattle

    No flag Pin!

    Not a patriot!

    Just a gambler who didn't report his winnings to the IRS!

    Don't let this fool gamble with your ability to choose!

    You can choose not to have an abortion too you know. Stop trying to force others to conform to your point of view old man!

    July 9, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. Vig

    Men talking about their views and beliefs on abortion – that's a joke. After 220 years we still have to hear men yapping away so they can get into that Oval Office. America has to be the most backward country when it comes to getting women to keep their mouths and other body parts shut.

    July 9, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. CALI DUDE

    Well...my friends...

    In case you havent noticed... McPain's positions on every issue except for War Mongering; is whatever is popular wherever he happens to be speaking... :)
    Very NOT impressive. Flip-Flopping to whatever the most popular public opinion is at the time & place he is speaking.

    Straight Talk? Straight to the popular positions would be more accurate.

    July 9, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Chris

    lead by example... oh wait!... tell people what they want to hear

    Divorce – Flip Flopper

    July 9, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. CALI DUDE

    6:44pm ET White people for Obama:

    Yeah .. he was a very POOR pilot also.. He personally crashed 5 times.

    The only thing he has ever done exceedingly well is 'Sing' for the Vietnamese. :)

    And to display his own self anger & self disgust for 'singing' so much.about things other than name rank & serial #.

    July 9, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  6. luckygal1

    Obama's race baiting, race agenda is more of an issue than McCains age.

    McCain is fully capable of doing he job. He comes from a family with extremely long life lines.

    July 9, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Peter E

    People misunderstant Roe v. Wade. Overturning it will NOT criminalize abortions in the entire country immediately. Instead it will just return the power to legislatures (state or federal) to decide.
    And it's all moot anyway.
    The federal government has all but negated Roe v. Wade, cutting down rights to abortions to pretty much zero except for very specific circumstances. Only a handful of states have abortion anyway. You can bet that those states will keep those abortions legal even after Roe v. Wade is overturned. (which is a 'when' not an 'if') In the states that would vote to criminalize abortions, abortions are non-existant anyway.

    July 9, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. Jon

    Women are so stupid.

    July 9, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Sarah Bonner

    Funny how Canada has just bestowed it's highest honour, the Order of Canada, on Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the pro-choice doctor who spent his entire career and even went to jail to fight for women's right to have an abortion, and here in the States old McInsane is still living in the dark ages and disregarding everything numerous people have fought so long and hard to achieve.
    The right to choose is fundamental to women's advancement in society and it will never be rescinded, so for McCain to even dangle that carrot to the Bible Belt is nothing short of dispicable pandering.

    July 9, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. Brian Phoenix AZ

    Well folks...kiss Roe VS Wade away....

    July 9, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. Teddy California

    Abortion (pro-life or pro-choice) is a tough issue. Republicans are usually for personal liberty. But the social conservatives want government help on stopping abortion and same sex marriage.

    Pro-choice people say that women should have rights to control their own bodies. They should decide if they want to have the babies or to abort them. People used to believe life started after birth. Now, if you believe the life begins at conception (almost every one believes this), then abortion means aborting the babies. Pro-life people claim that the killed babies are defenseless. It is the most divisive issue in America and there will be no compromise anytime soon. When McCain promotes his pro-life views, he must be careful not to offend those pro-choice voters who may vote him. When Obama promotes his pro-choice views, he must be careful not to offend those pro-life voters who may vote him. Both of them will be very careful. Obama can switch most of his other positions and he will still get at least 80% of the voters on the left. However, it is a no-no for him even to waiver on the abortion issue.

    July 9, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. J-M

    Funny how abortion rates went down in 40 states under Pro-choice Clinton and only down in 4 under "pro-life" Bush and up in two states.

    Could it be that other matters such as the economy, crime, etc...can reduce more abortions then just talking about it? Hmmm...perhaps it's Democrats who can lower abortions without having to make it illegal. Huh, and I thought the Republicans are the ones that always complained that the government should stay out of their lives. No wonder fiscal conservatives of old are fleeing the Republican party that has been taken over by the Christian right who do nothing but yell and shout on this issue.

    July 9, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Bill, Covington

    To all those who complain about the age of John McCain... I an eighty one years of age, i enlisted in the USMC in 1945 and am a veteran of Okinawa, I like john McCain am still in control of all my faculties.
    I will vote for McCain any day before I will vote for that black and white thing pictured next to him.
    So......screw you!

    July 9, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  14. Brad - California

    Hmmm, he doesn't know anything about economics, and he's obviously not a woman. I've got it – if he can't be an economics expert and i fhe is too old to do anything useful, maybe he can become an expert on abortion and morality.

    He isn't for or against the right to choose. HE NEEDS THE VOTES OF IDIOTS WHO LISTEN TO HIM.

    July 9, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  15. Judy

    I wonder how many of the people who "leapt to their feet" have adopted an unwanted child? It seems to me that these people will go to any length to try and stop legal abortion and yet do nothing to stop the abuse of children that occures every day.

    July 9, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. Angi's mom

    Did he get a standing ovation with his 100 more years in Iraq remark? Does "sanctity of human life" apply outside Ohio? Maybe he can lecture the orphans on family values during his next overseas photo op.

    By the way, pro-choice is better than no-choice.

    July 9, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. MDB

    Got to love the Libs. They will bash you for even thinking about harming a caribou in ANWR but siphoning a baby is A-OK with them. Good set of moral values you got working for you there.

    July 9, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. Michelle

    I am the female voter who asked about the divorce rate. McCain said he wants to bring this country together. I asked "how can we bring our country together, when we can't even bring our own homes together? Do you think the high divorce rate is a crisis, and do you have a plan to fix it?". Of course he would divert to abortion because my question is a conservative question he he leans on the side of conservatives when it comes to abortion. Debating abortion is senseless, and everone should just agree to disagree. Roe v. wade will probably never be overturned, because to make a woman prove she has been raped or pregnant from incest to get an abortion would vilolate her privacy, and should not be asked of any woman. THIS WAS NOT MY QUESTION!
    Had I not been so nervous, I would have asked him why we reward single parent homes with free college and heathcare, and why we penalize married couples with taxes and no heathcare. But again, money in our pockets still won't fix this problem. We need education! I am 25 and my generation is the first to come from these divorced homes, and we do not know how to stay married because we weren't tuaght to stay married. Everyone is all about themselves, and THE CHAOS IN THIS COUNTRY IS STEMMED FROM THE CHAOS IN OUR HOMES! You want to bring a country together? Teach us how to respect one other and how to put others before ourselves. Our children, the ones who are here now (save the abortion issue for another day!), they are the ones who are being hurt. Just look at the increase in child crime!!!!

    July 9, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. JennyM

    Goodbye Roe v Wade if he gets elected.

    July 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  20. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    McCain is a divorced man; then he got religion and married a wealthy heiress! An heiress who won't release her tax returns, either.

    July 9, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. MDB

    Independent in Colorado, listen closely I will type very slowly.....................................................overturning Roe vs Wade would make abortion illegal, which is exactly what John McCain is talking about. You think McCain is pandering? I think you are on a prescription you need to get off of.

    July 9, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Personal to Ardnuas:

    McCain will never start a war in Iran. Bush will do it first!

    July 9, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. PresidentObama

    What a stupid article, yet we here nothing that McCain called Social Security a "disgrace" or that he was the only senator not bothering to show up today and vote on the Medicare bill. Where are these stories on this ticker?? Who ever writes these posts, get a clue.

    July 9, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The crowd cheered, wildly.

    Seals applaud when you throw them a fish!

    July 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Mccain Is Not The Right Man To Be President!

    July 9, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9